Thursday, May 27, 2010

Why Bell Sucks, BlackBerry trackball edition

Two Christmases ago, my gift to myself was a shiny new red BlackBerry Curve, bought at the Bell Store in the Scarborough Town Centre with a three-year contract. I love my BlackBerry. Turning it off when roaming in the U.S. is so hard. A week in Israel with no Berry was madness – it took me four days to stop reaching into my pocket to check it, and for the phantom vibrations to end. Long story short, I’m a Berryholic.

When I bought the thing, the sales guy couldn’t stop talking about the awesome service plan that was included. It’s all covered, he told me. No questions asked, we’ll fix it or replace it on the spot, it’s all good. Good to know, I told myself, hoping it would never be necessary.

Fast-forward to yesterday. My berry’s trackball decides to stop scrolling up. Sideways, no problem. Down? That’s fine. But up? No dice. Something gumming up the works. After trying to clean it out without success I remembered hey, I have that awesome service plan with Bell, I’ll just pop over to the Bell store at lunch and they’ll fix it.

So after some chicken at the food court, I head over to the Bell Store.

My trackball won’t scroll up, I said, I think I need a new one.

No problem, they said, it’s $11.

Well no, I said, I have a service plan.

Track balls aren’t covered, they assured me.

The guy that sold it to me said everything was covered, I replied.

Reluctantly, they looked up my account. Nope, your warranty covers spills and damage, but not the trackball, that’s considered a separate component.

So, I said dumbfounded, when the guy told me everything was covered, he meant not really?

With them having no answer for that, I grudgingly forked over the $11, they swapped the trackball, and now I can scroll wherever and whenever I want.

A few things here. One, what kind of stupid service plans is Bell selling here? It includes everything BUT the trackball? That’s kind of a central component, no? And it’s not exactly a peripheral; it’s built into the dammed thing!

Two, I guess RIM has recognized this by moving to a trackpad on newer models, but what kind of crap-ass design is it to build a movement device that stops working in just over a year, and how can such a failure NOT be covered by warranty?

And third, what kind of dumbass people are designing Bell’s service plans anyways? According to their logic, I’m covered for spills but not trackpads. So, if I “accidentally” dropped my Berry in the pool, or spilled a Fresca on it, they’d swap it for me and they’d be out a few hundred dollars, but they’ll charge me $11 to replace the trackball? In essence, I’d have been better off if I’d spilled something on the dammed thing. I’d have a new phone and $11. Bell would be out a new phone. What kind of idiotic business plan is that?

And now once this contract is up I’m leaving Bell in the dust for one of the other slightly less crappy companies. Maybe those Wind Mobile people. And it’s not the $11, it’s the principle.

Bravo, geniuses.

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Dilip Andrade said...

Right... you think it'll be better somewhere else?

The lesson to be learned is, wherever possible avoid things that have moving parts.

Gletscher Eis said...

Bell = Soft news. Hard contract.

Unknown said...

Ha, the lesson to be learned is that, the Big telco's in Canada are out to make as much $$ from canadien's as they can, in the long run pissing them(their customers)off, then they(bell) file for creditor protection in a few years(my guess is less than 10 but more than 5), and the government bails them out. companies officers will all make much $$$, shareholders, customers, AND taxpayers, will be the only losers. Oh and did you know that caller ID information is on every call made in NA, and that if you don't subscribe they, actually have to block the numbers from showning. hurt them in the pocket cancel your call display.